My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Good News

Three stories jump off the pages of the news today.

--Sunnis returning to the table. Sunni Arab members of a committee drafting Iraq's new constitution ended their boycott Monday, six days after jeopardizing the credibility of the nascent political process by walking out in protest over the assassinations of two fellow Sunni constitution framers.

Their decision to return eased the threat that the country's new constitution would be a product of only two of three major Iraqi ethnic and religious groups.

--North Korea returning to the table. North Korea’s envoy to international disarmament talks said Tuesday that banning atomic weapons on the Korean Peninsula was the main issue for the revived negotiations, while the United States maintained that it had no intention of invading the communist nation.

The talks Tuesday are the fourth such six-nation negotiations, which also include China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. They are reconvening after a 13-month boycott during which the North refused to attend, citing “hostile” U.S. policies.

Admittedly, we've been down this road with them before. Nobody's holding their breath over here, that's for sure.

--AFL-CIO Schism. The Teamsters and a major service employees union on Monday bolted from the AFL-CIO, a stinging exodus for an embattled movement struggling to stop membership losses and adjust to a rapidly changing working environment.

In a decision that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney labeled a “grievous insult” to labor’s rank-and-file, the Teamsters union and the Service Employees International Union, two major federation affiliates, said they decided to leave.

“In our view, we must have more union members in order to change the political climate that is undermining workers’ rights in this country,” said Teamsters President James P. Hoffa. “The AFL-CIO has chosen the opposite approach.”

Now if I could just get the teachers' unions to break apart--or at least, abandon their one-dimensional political advocacy--then we could see real changes.

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